What are the different criminal record check types in the UK?
If you are looking to request a criminal record check for your employees, you may find yourself confused over the different types and names. Depending on the industry, you may have come across terms like DBS, Basic, Disclosure Scotland check, CRC, CRB and others. All of these refer to a criminal record check but which of them are actually correct and what are the levels of criminal record checks in the UK?
We have created a simple guide to help you confirm which level of check you require and how we can help you to obtain it.
In the UK, there are three main levels of criminal record checks (also known as CRC’s in some industries) available:
In order to apply for the Standard or Enhanced Disclosure, the applicant must eligible for this check. This means that they must be working within specific roles or at specific sites in order to qualify for this level of check. In case the applicant is not eligible for the Standard or Enhanced levels, they would be able to apply for the Basic level as there are no eligibility restrictions on who can apply.
Now we will explore what is the difference between each level and how to determine which is the relevant check for your applicant.
A Basic criminal record disclosure would confirm whether an applicant has any unspent criminal record convictions. As there are no eligibility restrictions on this check, anyone could apply for this, subject to the Data Protection Regulations of course. However, depending on where the applicant is living or working, this check would need to be processed via separate governing bodies.
• For applicants living or working in England or Wales the check has to be processed via the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)
• For applicants living or working in Scotland the check has to be processed via Disclosure Scotland
It is important to determine which governing body to use as the time a conviction is regarded as spent is different in England & Wales and Scotland. This is due to the difference in the section 5 of the Rehabilitations of Offenders Act in these countries. Due to this Act, applicants are not required to disclose any spent convictions when applying for jobs. (source)
Standard DBS Disclosure
A Standard Disclosure ignores the Rehabilitations of Offenders Act and would confirm whether an applicant has any spent and/or unspent criminal record convictions. However, only specific professions can access this disclosure and these professions have to be listed on the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
Examples of these professions include, Positions regulated by the Financial Conducts Authority (FCA), Specific roles in courts/prisons and Accountant/lawyer on entry to the profession.
Enhanced DBS Disclosure
Similar to the Standard Disclosure, the Enhanced Disclosure would confirm if an applicant has any spent and/or unspent criminal record convictions along with any relevant non-conviction information relating to the applicant potentially working with children and/or vulnerable adults. This level of disclosure relates to applicants working with children and/or vulnerable adults at sites such as schools and/or care homes for example. To be entitled to this level, the applicants role has to be listed in the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act as well as the Police Act 1997.
If the applicant is engaged in a regulated activity, such as teaching or providing medical care for example, they would also be eligible for the Barred List check. This an optional check as part of the Enhanced Disclosure and is made against either the Children’s or Vulnerable Adult’s Barred List, or both depending on the applicant’s role, to confirm whether the applicant is barred from working with these vulnerable groups.
Similar to the Basic DBS, both the Standard and Enhanced checks are processed via the DBS and cover applicants living and working in England and Wales. For applicants working or living in Scotland, the applicant may be required to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme provided by Disclosure Scotland. The PVG scheme is the Scottish equivalent of the Enhanced DBS check.
In summary, it is important that the correct checks are being processed, but also that employers are helping to ensure the safety of children or vulnerable adults. Do you wish to find out which level of criminal record is the correct one for you? Call us on +44 (0) 1962 600 110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out!